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Diversity in Patient Care Interactions

Introduction

Awareness of specialized diversity practices in healthcare is essential for every practitioner as it is a crucial part of providing quality care to patients. Heterogeneity is not only about the race, but it also is about an individual approach to people of different gender, religion, age ethnicity, sexual orientation and many more related social groups. Therefore, this paper will discuss multiple aspects of diversity in patient care interactions considering specific approaches a radiographer can apply to certain minority groups.

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Summary of Diverse Populations Encountered in American Health Care Facilities

The United States of America is one of the most diverse countries in the world; hence, the healthcare industry daily sees thousands of various patients, who expect to receive equal care. Nevertheless, disparities in American medical management are notable, existing for decades and causing inappropriate treatment wellness delivery. Numerous studies have confirmed evident inequality in the quality of healthcare offered in the U.S, concerning ethnic, socio-economic and racial groups.

The rising demographic of the non-white population will make up the majority in the following decades, and inevitably force the medical system to become more attentive to the diversified patients. As most of the citizens of the United States are bicultural, the tendency of inappropriate quality of treatment delivery to the minorities must be rapidly decreasing (Adler & Carlton, 2019). One of the reasons for such a common disparity may be the healthcare provider’s inability to understand the culture of the diversified patient, which subsequently leads to the low quality of treatment.

Special Considerations for Radiographers Working with the Diverse Populations

Pediatric

Pediatric radiology may be a sensitive topic, as it involves the screening of children. Radiologists must consider to continually communicate with the parents of the imaging children to avoid any misunderstandings. The screening technique is more complex to adjust among kids, which becomes a threat for inappropriate care delivery, jeopardizing the safety of the procedure. Children of a young age like infants may be hard to cooperate with due to the inability of communicating with them. To ease such complications, radiologists often distract a child by providing a safe, friendly environment.

Elderly

Radiographers daily have encounters with older adults, who come in for the examinations. While cancer predominantly affects older people, the majority of the radiographer’s patients are in the second half of their life. Such a detail creates specific ethical guidelines for the appropriate communication and behavior with the elderly (Davidhizar et al., 1997). Respectful manner of speech and clear, repeated instruction can aid in the avoidance of mistreatment of a patient.

Patients of Different Races/Ethnicities

Racial diversity and the disparities of it in healthcare are one of the most severe issues in the system. Radiologists must consider individual biological variations that exist among various ethnic and races. Multiple research confirms that people of different races may be more prone to some illnesses than others due to specific genetics and physiological characteristics (Davidhizar et al., 1997). Similarly, certain culture groups differently respond to pain, and some races have various body habitus. Properly addressing such features will ensure quality radiography treatment delivery to the patients.

LGBTQ

The LGBTQ community represents a broad population of people diverse in gender, sex, and sexual orientation that have been discriminated in healthcare for many years. Imperative research shows that the LGBTQ people are less likely to seek medical help than heterogeneous individuals; moreover, queers have shown low participation rates in preventive health programs (Lee & Kanji, 2017). Such data urges radiographers to be more sensitive to the representatives of the LGBTQ community, motivating them to use their services with no fear. Subsequently, the radiographers must adopt specific strategies of admitting people of various genders and sexual orientations.

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Transgender

Transgender people face severe discrimination from the healthcare system, often being challenged or misperceived. A study showed that 28% of transgender people are constantly harassed in the medical setting, which becomes a reason to postpone or terminate the treatment (Lee & Kanji, 2017). Urgent actions must be implemented to provide equal medical management to people of all minorities. Most radiology personnel encounter transgender patients in their career, and it is the responsibility of healthcare providers to deliver high-quality services (Sowinski & Gunderman, 2018). In order to inform the doctors of all the measures for unbiased practice, familiarity with topics of transgender approach must be received through training.

Personal Challenges While Dealing with Diverse Populations

While dealing with a diverse population, it is vital to maintain the culturally appropriate attitude, that does not contradict with any beliefs or specifies of a patient. It is crucial for radiologists to adhere to strategies of addressing miscellaneous patients that frequently come in. As there are many aspects of cultural or religious matter a doctor may not know about, it could be a potential threat for ineffective communication or treatment. Therefore, the most severe challenge that can endanger the integrity of a radiologist is the lack of competent erudition about all types of the diverse population, which unintentionally may lead to conflicts.

Methods of Overcoming the Challenges

Challenge of lack of awareness and competency is perverse, however, possible to improve. Perpetual education on cultural appropriation and self-development in various aspects of LGBTQ, religion and other diversified topics will inevitably decrease the chances of inapt remarks, or ineffective doctor-patient communication. Attending training and seminars is a feasible solution only if the person has genuine intentions of learning and developing a sense of complete acceptance and competency of the profession.

References

Adler, A. M., & Carlton, R. R. (2019). Introduction to radiologic & imaging sciences & patient care. Elsevier.

Davidhizar, R., Dowd, S., & Newman’ciger, J. (1997). Model for cultural diversity in the radiology department. Radiologic Technology, 68(3), 233–238.

Lee, A., & Kanji, Z. (2017). Queering the health care system: Experiences of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender community. Canadian Journal of Dental Hygiene, 51(2), 80–90.

Sowinski, J. S., & Gunderman, R. B. (2018). Transgender patients: what radiologists need to know. American Journal of Roentgenology, 210(5), 1106–1110. Web.‌

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StudyCorgi. (2022, January 31). Diversity in Patient Care Interactions. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/diversity-in-patient-care-interactions/

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